(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday, 24 August 2014):
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:
"First of all, I would like to send my condolences to the family of Daniel Tragerman
. His mother Gila described her eldest son as a beautiful, clever and sensitive boy. Like you, I have seen the pictures of four-and-a-half-year-old Daniel, a sweet and innocent boy who was murdered by the firing of reprehensible Hamas terrorists.
Hamas is paying and will yet pay a heavy price for the crimes that it has perpetrated. I call on the residents of Gaza to immediately evacuate any building from which Hamas is carrying out terrorist activity. Any such place is a target for us. In recent days we have proven there is no immunity for those who fire at Israel's citizens. This is true in all sectors and regarding all borders. We are determined to complete the mission. We are patient. Operation Protective Edge
will continue until its goals are achieved. I said on the first day of the operation that it could take time and we are prepared that this campaign might continue even after the start of the school year.
I would like to say a few words to the residents of the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip, the communities and the kibbutzim. I appreciate your resilience. I appreciate your suffering and I share your pain. We will do our utmost to help you through these difficult days. At the next Cabinet meeting, we will approve an extraordinary package of assistance for your communities. We are with you and we will stay with you until quiet is achieved, and afterwards as well.
We embarked on Operation Protective Edge in order to restore quiet and security to you and to all Israeli citizens. We will not complete the mission, we will not complete the operation, until this goal is achieved. The more determined and patient we are, the more our enemies will understand that they will not succeed in wearing us down. Against their attrition, they will be struck very hard.
I think that anyone who looks back over recent days will see the significance of this. The IDF is continuing to strike very hard at Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip and will continue to do so until the goal is achieved.
In this struggle we are on a broad front. Many states in the region and in the West are beginning to understand that this is a single front, that Hamas is ISIS and ISIS is Hamas.
They act in the same way. They are branches of the same poisonous tree. They are two extremist Islamic terrorist movements that abduct and murder innocents, that execute their own people, that shrink at nothing including the willful murder of children.
In recent days we heard from Hamas spokesmen that they admit to what we have been saying all along, that they murdered Eyal, Gilad and Naftali
. Both movements are, in effect, making an effort to establish Islamic rule, caliphates, without human rights, across wide areas, by slaughtering minorities, by not respecting the human rights of anyone – neither women nor men, nor children, nor Christians, nobody. With every passing day the world understands more and more that Hamas operates like ISIS and that ISIS operates like Hamas. The State of Israel will continue to stand alongside the civilized world in its war against extremist and violent Islam."
Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yaalon, IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj.-Gen. Eitan Dangot and the Director of Research at the IDF Intelligence Corps briefed ministers on recent events regarding Operation Protective Edge.
A discussion was held at the end of which Prime Minister Netanyahu directed that
- a plan with clear instructions be prepared regarding the opening of the school year in southern Israel; and
- a plan be prepared regarding immediate assistance to communities in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip.
Both plans will be ready by this Wednesday.